Clubs draw battle lines

As players put in the extra yards in training and supporters from Llanboidy in the south to Dewi Stars in the north eagerly await the commencement of a new Costcutter Football League season, one of the main talking points is whether champions St Dogmaels can retain the title in the face of anticipated stiff competition from half a dozen or so rivals.

Action in Division One starts on Tuesday, August 20, with Division Two getting underway the following day and the third division kicking off on Saturday, August 31.

Under manager Steve Jerry Williams and assistant Wayne Jones the champs are in strict training, the sessions including stamina-sapping runs on the dunes at Poppit Sands.

Boss Williams said: “We have really put the lads through it and the whole squad is fit and raring to go. We did really well in most competitions last season and hopefully we can do so again.”

Saints have been boosted by the arrival of midfielder Josh Mellor from neighbours Cardigan Town and the remainder of the players are available.

A few seasons ago Newcastle Emlyn flew the local flag in the Welsh League but the club was relegated back to the Costcutter.

The Reds suffered from inconsistency and could do no better than fifth, but an influx of players has prompted optimism.

Encouraging performances in friendlies included wins over Pembrokeshire League Division Two champions Fishguard Sports and Aberaeron of the Spar Mid Wales League.

After the arrival of eight players from the Costcutter, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire leagues manager Owain Thomas said: “Pre-season has been pleasing and we hope to make an impact.”

Crannog lifted Cwpan Coffa Dai Dynamo Davies, reached the final of the Easter Monday League Cup and were league runners-up under manager Rhydian Morgan.

The Llangrannog-based high-flyers can again be fancied to mount a serious challenge.

Lampeter Town manager Terry Witts has stood down after leading the North Road club to third and is succeeded by vastly-experienced and highly-respected Jonion Evans.

The new man at the helm is a former player/manager of Costcutter club New Quay and Aberaeron of the Spar League.

Looking forward to a new challenge Evans said: “We have signed a few players and a number of youngsters are coming through.”

Llandysul appointed Gwynfor Edwards of Llanelli as manager last term and the new supremo guided the Swallows to the League Cup.

In confident mood Edwards said: “We beat every team in the league and after finishing fourth the aim must be to win the title.”

Cardigan Town have a new man occupying the hot seat in the form of all-action midfielder James Evans who has a crop of emerging players at his disposal.

Ffostrasol will be eager to improve on sixth while Felinfach and Llanboidy and also promoted Dewi Stars and Aberporth are others to consider.

Early fixtures

Tuesday, August 20

Division One: Aberporth v Crannog; Felinfach v Lampeter Town; Llanboidy v NC Emlyn

Division Two: Bargod Rangers v Crymych; Crannog Res v New Quay

Wednesday, August 21

Division One: Cardigan Town v St Dogmaels; Llandysul v Ffostrasol

Division Two: Ffostrasol Res v Aberaeron Res; St Dogmaels Res v Maesglas

Tuesday, August 27

Division One: NC Emlyn v Llandysul; St Dogmaels v Llanboidy

Division Two: Crymych v St Dogmaels Res; New Quay v Bargod Rangers

Wednesday, August 28

Division One: Crannog v Cardigan Town; Dewi Stars v Lampeter Town; Ffostrasol v Aberporth

Division Two: Lampeter Res v Ffostrasol Res; Maesglas v Crannog Res